THURSDAY 9/23


DECIBEL FESTIVAL
(Various venues) See preview, page 33.

ROCKABILLY BALL
(Tractor) See Border Radio, page 43.

SCISSOR SISTERS, GUESTS
(Showbox) So, everyone I know was all excited to see the Scissor Sisters debut at Neumo's a few months ago. We got there early (hence the enormous line) and suffered through the Fitness's aerobic wave. The room was packed beyond any human reason, and the air was stiflingly hot. Then the Scissor Sisters hit the stage and it was... incredibly disappointing. With music like theirs--a hybrid of Elton John pop and trendy electronic beats--you'd hope their stage show would err on the side of glitter rock. It didn't. It erred on the side of the Lido deck on a gay cruise liner charting a course to the seventh circle of hell. Enjoy the record? Me, too. Feel free to stay home. RANDY OCTOGENARIAN

NO VOTE LEFT BEHIND: QUEENSRYCHE UNPLUGGED, JERRY CANTRELL
(Graceland) I guess the real question about this show is, will the last great conceptual prog theater-metal band, authors of both Operation: Mindcrime (1988) and its ineffable follow-up, Operation: Livecrime (1991), focus on the tunes--better than you remember--at this acoustic benefit show, or will they hire up some actors to play the roles of Nikki, Sister Mary, and Doctor X, like the people want... SEAN NELSON

FRIDAY 9/24


DECIBEL FESTIVAL
(Various venues) See preview, page 33.

ROCKABILLY BALL
(Tractor) See Border Radio, page 43.

THE SPITS, DESTRUCTION UNIT, TYCO PARTY
(Hideaway) See Live Wire, page 39.

THE FALL-OUTS, THE FONDAS
(Comet) Along the same lines as the Detroit Cobras (and featuring that band's guitarist, Steve Shaw), the Fondas give gems by Don Covay, Nolan Strong, and George Jones the garage-rock rubdown on a covers record for Sympathy for the Record Industry called Coming Now! The band also features Slumber Party's Julie Benjamin on vocals. JENNIFER MAERZ

NVLB: PEARL JAM, SMOOSH, DJ CHERRY CANOE
(Showbox) See also preview, page 31.

JOHN VANDERSLICE, MATTHEW CAWS, JOHN RODERICK, ROBBERS ON HIGH STREET, WILL JOHNSON, THE ZUTONS
(Crocodile) After an appearance at the No Vote Left Behind show the night before, this incredible tour gets its proper placement at the top of the bill. You probably know John Vanderslice from his amazing array of Barsuk releases--most recently Cellar Door, his best--and his rotating live band, consisting of members of tourmates Robbers on High Street. You may not, however, be familiar with the great Will Johnson, lead dog of Denton, Texans Centro-Matic and South San Gabriel, as well as a notable solo songwriter in his own right. Johnson's stripped down, rusty-pipe melancholia is highlighted on his amazing new solo LP, Vultures Await, and his live presence (and my God, that voice) is riveting. If you're coming, come early. SEAN NELSON

CAPITA SNOWBOARD MOVIE PREMIERE: FORM OF ROCKET
(Neumo's) Featuring a song called "Sack of Smashed Assholes," Salt Lake's Form of Rocket drink from the Fugazi/Drive Like Jehu poison well, spewing volatile time changes, math-rock acrobatics, and a taut compression of aggro energy. They provide the live show for the 21+ portion of tonight's snowboarding extravaganza, which features artwork, autograph signings, and movies centered on the sport. JENNIFER MAERZ

SATURDAY 9/25


DECIBEL FESTIVAL
(Various Venues) See preview, page 33.

ROCKABILLY BALL
(Tractor) See Border Radio, page 43.

VENDETTA RED, THE DIVORCE, BLUE SKY MILE
(Graceland) See Stranger Suggests, page 21 and All Ages Action, page 49.

ENDFEST
(White River Amphitheatre) See Stranger Suggests, page 21 and All Ages Action, page 49.

RILO KILEY, TILLY AND THE WALL, NOW IT'S OVERHEAD
(Neumo's) See preview, page 37.

NVLB: JOHN DOE, GRANT-LEE PHILLIPS, ALAN SPARHAWK, MARK PICKEREL
(Sunset) See preview, page 31.

FCS NORTH, MERCIR, MATT HOPPER
(EMP's Liquid Lounge) Seattle's FCS North continue to blur the lines between highbrow rock and hedonistic dance music. Their latest disc, fcssa (a split with brainy beat technician Sientific American), is the trio's most explicit foray into club-centric composition, including a daring stab into broken beat. But FCS North's impeccable musicianship and PhD-level production techniques ensure an aerobic evening of music to which you can move and still respect yourself in the morning. DAVE SEGAL

NVLB: MUDHONEY, PANSY DIVISION, THE AVENGERS, KINSKI, DAVID CROSS
(Showbox) Legendary San Francisco punk band the Avengers are gracing the Seattle stage to help defeat Bush. It's the only thing I can give our current president: Thank you for being such a horror that you brought the Avengers here. The band's recently released compilation The American in Me features some live recordings as well as liner notes by Greil Marcus and bandleader Penelope Houston. To hear Houston sing "We Are the One" and "The Good, The Bad, and The Koalskis" live is a dream come true in a nightmare political season. NATE LIPPENS See preview page 31.

NVLB: THE DIVINE COMEDY, THE TURN-ONS, THE DELAYS, THE FUTUREHEADS
(Crocodile) The Futureheads may be the sleeper band on this bill, but I highly recommend not snoozing through seeing them live. After touring with likeminded UK kids Franz Ferdinand, the angular Sunderland band is another live wire connecting with post punk and new wave's brightest moments. Mixing elements of XTC, Devo, and even Madness into a freshly cut, purposely choppy collection of art rock, the band's upcoming, eponymous CD (due in October) proves these guys are gonna be Franz Ferdinand huge in no time. Definitely one of those "see them now" performances. JENNIFER MAERZ

BR. DANIELSON, HALF HANDED CLOUD, VIVA VOCE
(Paradox) The difference between Br. Danielson's solo outing, Brother Is to Son, and a regular Danielson Familie disc is slighter than that between a David Cassidy LP and a Partridge Family one. Accompanied, as always, by his siblings, wife, and other kin, Br. Danielson--alias New Jersey carpenter Daniel Smith--interweaves poetic reflections on spirituality with rough hewn music, rendered on banjo, guitar, and jingle bells with equal parts indie rock DIY chutzpah and old-time Appalachian ingenuity. Recommended if you adore the ramshackle clamor of the Langley Schools kids, or wish the Polyphonic Spree would subvert some of their joyful poise by inviting a couple deranged Muppets into the fold. KURT B. REIGHLEY

THE EX, ELECTRELANE, SHOPLIFTING, THE PLOT TO BLOW UP THE EIFFEL TOWER
(Vera Project) The four Englishwomen in Electrelane unleashed a killer debut album in 2001 called Rock It to the Moon. Full of mostly instrumental jams that spliced the ebullient rock of the Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner" to Neu!'s metronomic grooves, the album promised amazing things. But Electrelane's follow up, The Power Out (Too Pure), thudded into earshot with "proper" songs featuring to-the-fore vocals, unmemorable tunes, and a dampening of their previously wild Farfisa blurts. It didn't play to the group's strengths, ending up like a collection of Stereolab B-sides. Let's hope they let down their hair onstage tonight. Bluntly speaking, the Ex are the Dutch Fugazi with more love for free-jazz skronk. Their new album, Turn, is ferocious, despite it being their 19th. Revere them. DAVE SEGAL

BLACKTOP BRAWL: THE ACCUSED, BLÖÖDHAG
(Pacific Rim Brewing Co.) Pulling their moniker from the rumored rodent-riddled White Center, the Rat City Rollergirls are getting closer to competition with every fundraising performance. Tonight is the unveiling of the Rat City teams, as well as a showcase for street races that should give you a taste of the rough and tumble crew that's been assembled. The Accused and BlöödHag will be on hand to provide the ladies with the appropriately punk soundtrack. JENNIFER MAERZ

SUNDAY 9/26


DECIBEL FESTIVAL
(Various venues) See preview, page 33.

NVLB: CRACKER, RADIO NATIONALS
(Tractor) See preview, page 31.

NVLB: PALOMAR, GUESTS
(Crocodile) The sugary pop of this New York quartet is perfect and perfectly deceptive. The mixed-gender lineup means lots of harmonizing vocals that sound like a combination of Tallulah Gosh and a girl-group version of Belgian chanteuse/weirdo Anna Domino. Their songs fly past like anonymous sex on a sugar rush, and at the end of listening to their CD you feel a little guilty because now you have great secret. But they probably won't remain a secret much longer. NATE LIPPENS See preview, page 31.

JON BRION & FRIENDS
(Sunset) Jon Brion's list of projects and collaborators runs longer than the 9/11 Commission Final Report and it's a hell of a lot more interesting. He has seemingly worked with everyone in the business in some capacity--as a musician, engineer, producer, and scoring films (most notably Magnolia and the upcoming I Heart Huckabees). A partial list of upcoming releases he's involved with include Fiona Apple, Elliot Smith's posthumous release, the Nels Cline Singers, and the grande dame of decadence and survival, Marianne Faithfull. His own work is perfect pop songcraft that compiles all the highlights of filigreed rock and orchestral pop from the Beatles onward. NATE LIPPENS

SIOUXSIE WITH THE BANSHEES AND THE CREATURES
(Showbox) The last time I saw Siouxsie & the Banshees was between thousands of supernaturally faithful sun-stained fans, zigging through the black-clothes sea of sweat and lace in the middle of the California desert for the Coachella festival a couple of years ago. Which wasn't the best place for an important post-punk '70s and '80s used-to-mean-something goth band, who really had no right to add to the reunion-flood, but goddamn! Night sky, closed doors, tribal strobes, those throat barks, the fracture of 1978's "Hong Kong Garden," the baggy glitter of 1991's "Kiss Them for Me," and Siouxsie's Banshees and Creatures projects. Ahhh. GUY FAWKES

FU MANCHU, THE ROLLING BLACKOUTS, ZEKE, POST STARDOM DEPRESSION
(Graceland) Where would the rock world be without the Rolling Stones? Really now, we wouldn't have bands like the Rolling Blackouts, L.A.'s latest garage rockers to evoke a little Mick strut in more than name alone. Brash, booming guitar riffs boost spiraling harmonies--one of the band's strengths--cut with sneering, sleezeboy lyrics, so of course they have the prerequisite Stooges influences in there, too. But speaking of formulas, Fu Manchu haven't altered theirs a note, as their most recent stoner-rock opus, Start the Machine, proves in all its "if it ain't broke" heaviness. JENNIFER MAERZ

MONDAY 9/27
Now we recover.

TUESDAY 9/28


MENDOZA LINE, SUNSHINE FIX, SATURDAY LOOKS GOOD TO ME, NATURAL HISTORY
(Crocodile) See preview, page 37.

DOLOUR, THE PALE, THE SENATE ARCADE, LITTLE HAND OF THE CITY
(Graceland) Little Hand of the City has filled a very interesting gap in my music catalogue. This space was being specially reserved for music festering in the collections of millions of young teens; Rock for Kids as I call it. Other people call it emo, which I view as an automatic negative. Either way, I usually despise this genre. But Little Hand of the City, with their wonderful sincerity and stage energy, have filled that gap. It's like a version of the Pale I don't hate. ANTI-SPOOL

JIM WHITE, DEVOTCHKA
(Tractor) Floridian Jim White draws on his experiences as an ex-Jesus freak, drug addict, model, and surfer for his off-kilter tales related in lyrics redolent of Southern Gothic imagery and atmosphere. He released two albums--Wrong Eyed Jesus and No Such Place--that wedded Tom Waits' woebegone, whiskey-grimaced verse with triphop-notic production touches. White's new Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See is slicker and more songwriterly than past works, but it still flickers with intelligent wordplay and god-haunted metaphors. In fact, it's an NPR programmer's wet dream of a record. DAVE SEGAL

WEDNESDAY 9/29


LILA, THE M'S
(Crocodile) See Stranger Suggests, page 21.

MINISTRY, MY LIFE WITH THE THRILL KILL KULT
(Fenix) Al Jourgensen, the man that is Ministry, the dark lord of industrial metal and indiscrete substance abuse, is still alive (if you'd been wondering). The malevolent man has chronically produced a full and fabulous disaster of recordings and side projects with a revolving cast of characters spanning 15-plus years--including (but not limited to) the zenith "Psalm 69" release in '92, through to "Houses of the Mole" in '04. He never fails to shock and awe the masses via an aggressive discontent within his inescapable rhythmic pummelings. An evening of grime, glam, and grandeur (or delusions thereof), My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult's along for the very bumpy ride. NES REDNAAJ

THE LIBERTINES, RADIO 4
(Neumo's) Earnest, well-meaning New Yorkers whose vaguely liberal political sentiments are shouted over serviceable dance rock, Radio 4 seem equally enamored of U2's anthemic vocal/guitar dynamics and Gang of Four's anti-fascist-groove-thang bass lines. As promising as that sounds on paper, in execution it comes off as overly rote and studied. Critics have been savaging their new Stealing of a Nation (Astralwerks), but its not that awful; the band's just too transparently enthralled with its inspirations. DAVE SEGAL See preview, page 35.

SNOW PATROL, EISLEY
(Showbox) It's been awhile since a record made me melt so completely, but with its haunting, melancholy vocals and bittersweet, mopey pop, Snow Patrol's Final Straw had me on the floor in one listen. While they're currently known for their love anthem "Run," there's definitely more to the Ireland quartet than the recent radio hit. Forget all the comparisons to Coldplay; Snow Patrol map out a romantic indie rock game all their own. MEGAN SELING

GOSLING, SCHOOLYARD HEROES, CHINATOWN, MU MESON
(Graceland) Whether or not you were a fan of Loudermilk, the members' new act, Gosling, is worth some attention. That is if you are a fan of plainclothes glam with a heart full of platforms and feather boas. The now L.A.-based act waltz through Sunset Strip pop on their eponymous EP for Sonic Boom, one that (instrumentally, at least) could play as the soundtrack for a rock 'n' roll musical set in the glitter wars of '70s rock. JENNIFER MAERZ

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